‘Cloud adoption and escalating threats accelerate encryption deployments’

Thales, a critical information systems, cyber security and data security company, has today announced a report on how organisations around the world are dealing with compliance, increased threats, and the implementation of encryption to protect their most sensitive data.

The report revealed enterprises have accelerated adoption of encryption strategies, with 41% of respondents saying their organisation has an encryption strategy applied consistently across the enterprise.

Notably, for the first time in the study’s 12-year history, business unit leaders have a higher influence over encryption strategy than IT operations. Other critical findings demonstrate organisations continue to show a preference for control over encryption and key management when those activities migrate to the cloud.

>See also: Security in the sharing economy

John Grimm, senior director of security strategy at Thales e-Security, said that “This year’s findings align with key trends demonstrating an increased reliance on the cloud, ever-evolving internal and external threats, and new data sources mandating stronger protection. The survey further reinforces that cloud key management offerings are more important than ever – and business-leader involvement is crucial to a sound security strategy.”

Protecting data at rest in the cloud

The survey found that 67% of respondents take one of two routes: they either perform encryption on premise prior to sending data to the cloud, or encrypt in the cloud using keys they generate and manage on premises. While a further 37% said their organisations turn over complete control of keys and encryption processes to cloud providers.

Currently, 31% are using or planning to use hardware security modules (HSMs) with bring your own key (BYOK) deployments, with 20% claiming the same for cloud access security broker (CASB) deployments.

Overall, usage of HSMs with CASBs is expected to double in the next 12 months (from 12% to 24%).

>See also: 10 cyber security trends to look out for in 2017

Use of HSMs among organisations also grew to its highest level ever, at 38%; of those respondents, 48% own and operate HSMs on-premise in support of cloud-based applications.

And, at 55%, compliance is the top driver for encryption – followed closely by protecting enterprise intellectual property (51%), customer information protection (49%) and protection from external threats (49%)

Dr Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of The Ponemon Institute, who carried out the survey for Thales, said that “The accelerated growth of encryption strategies in business underscores the proliferation of mega breaches and cyber attacks, as well as the need to protect a broadening range of sensitive data types. Simply put, the stakes are too high for organisations to stand by and wait for an attack to happen to them before introducing a sophisticated data protection strategy. Encryption and key management continue to play critical roles in these strategies.”


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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...